College Resource Center Hosts Seminar for Juniors


Ben Mayo

Seniors Ben Lopez, Layan Abdo, Katie Hay (pictured left to right) answer questions from the audience.

March is here and spring is just around the corner. For many high school juniors, that means it’s time to get into the college application process. Fortunately for them, on Thursday morning at 8 a.m., students gathered in the Studio Theater to hear the College Resource Counselor, Ms. Amy Belstra, discuss topics such as how to apply for college, what different colleges look at and more.

The seminars are designed to get students to think about certain aspects of college they might not otherwise consider. This includes information such as what kind of dorm they want to stay in, what population size would fit them best and whether or not they want to participate in collegiate extracurriculars.

“I enjoy coming to these,” said junior Sam Hurh “…there’s a lot of stuff they talk about here that I didn’t know before. It’s definitely gonna help me in the future”.

Some students enjoy these seminars because any questions they have will be answered thoroughly without making them feel uneducated.

“I think it should be implemented at all high schools,” added Hurh.

On Thursday, March 7, Ms. Belstra had three seniors join the panel to answer students’ questions and give a more relatable perspective. They explained what they did in order to get where they are, what they would have changed and encouraged the juniors in the process.  

Ms. Belstra, who has worked at LHS for nine years, has been helping students through the college process through private meetings, college fairs and seminars such as these.

“…watching students go from where there are to where they’re going and even beyond is just amazing. I love watching them figure that out,” she said.

She is passionate for her work and enjoys aiding children through this typically difficult time.

“This is a time of discovering yourself…you’re starting to find out who you are, what you want, and what’s important to you,” she said.

According to Town Charts, a site that reports information and data about different geographic areas around the country, nearly 75 percent of the population of Libertyville (ages 25 or older) have received at least a bachelor’s degree. Therefore, it may not be surprising that there is an overarching expectation in the town and at the school that students should and will go to college.

Ms. Belstra thinks that the pressure is a little too much saying, “I have kids come in and say they want to take a gap year…they just want someone to say ‘Cool! That’s awesome’ because their parents are saying ‘I don’t know if you should do that.'”

She went on to say that she encourages students to go into the trades or the military if that’s where they express interest.